Ireland legend tops United Rugby Championship all-time leading try scorers list

Jared Wright
Check out the list of the top try scorers in the URC's history.

Check out the list of the top try scorers in the URC's history.

Ulster and Ospreys legend Tommy Bowe tops the all-time top try scorers list in the United Rugby Championship (URC).

The United Rugby Championship, a competition that has evolved significantly over the years, was officially launched in 2001 as the Celtic League. It then underwent several name changes and expansions, transforming into the PRO12, PRO14, and finally, the URC.

Top try scorers

Since its introduction, no player has racked up triple digits of tries scored, with Bowe leading the way with 67 tries during his stints with Ulster and the Ospreys.

His record is eight clear of fellow Ulster great Craig Gilroy, who crossed 59 times between 2010 and 2023 in the league.

Retired speedsters Tim Visser (Edinburgh) and DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow and Scarlets) are tied in third with 58 tries a piece. Welshman Steff Evans is on track to chase down Bowe’s tally having dotted down 54 times at the age of 29.

Fellow Scarlets teammate Gareth Davies recently became the second Welshman to reach the half-century mark, having scored more tries than any other scrum-half in the tournament’s history.

Another Ulsterman features in the top 10, with Andrew Trimble also running in 50 tries between 2005 and 2018. More recently, Dan Evans crossed 49 times during his stints with Scarlets, Dragons and the Ospreys.

Quiz: Can you name the 2016 Ireland team that famously beat the Springboks?

One club legend, Dave Kearney, won six league titles with Leinster, and during his 15 seasons with the Irish province he scored 48 tries – the most by a Leinster player.

Meanwhile, Johnny McNicholl enjoyed a fantastic career at Scarlets, winning the PRO14 with the side in 2017. Before returning to New Zealand to rejoin the Crusaders, the outside back dotted down 46 times for the Scarlets.

Tom James scored just one fewer than McNicholl during his stints two with Cardiff before the 12-time Wales international finished his career with the Scarlets.

Meanwhile, Simon Zebo is Munster’s leading try scorer in the league, having grabbed 45 in total before announcing that he would retire at the end of the 2023/24 season. His tally is just one better than fellow Munster favourite Andrew Conway.

Finally, another scrum-half completes the list, with Rhys Webb grabbing 42 tries for the Ospreys.

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All-Time United Rugby Championship Top Try Scorers

*Still active

67 – Tommy Bowe (Ulster/Ospreys)
59 – Craig Gilroy (Ulster)
58 – Tim Visser (Edinburgh)
58 – DTH Van der Merwe (Glasgow/Scarlets)
*54 – Steff Evans (Scarlets)
*50 – Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
50 – Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
49 – Dan Evans (Scarlets, Dragons, Ospreys)
48 – Dave Kearney (Leinster)
46 – Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets)
45 – Tom James (Cardiff, Scarlets)
*45 – Simon Zebo (Munster)
44 – Andrew Conway (Munster)
42 – Rhys Webb (Ospreys)